How broken is our government? It’s so broken, says professor Diane Halpern, that the Los Angeles Times described the current Congress as the most do-nothing Congress in recent history. “It’s so broken that nothing can get done,” she says. “And in fact, Republicans and Democrats can’t even agree over the fact that it’s broken.”
Halpern’s words above open her fall 2012 TEDxClaremontColleges talk. They also frame an interview that the McElwee Family Professor of Psychology and George R. Roberts Fellow just gave to Live Science during the 25th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science. The article, by Denise Chow, is called, “Can’t We All Just get Along? What Psychology Tells Us About Political Gridlock,” and in it, Halpern–– former president of the American Psychological Association––discusses the great divide that has, in her opinion, “reached a much more hostile level.”
Halpern earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has master’s degrees from Temple University and the University of Cincinnati, as well as a Ph.D. from the latter institution. In 2011 she received the Western Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Service to Psychology. The prior year she received the Roy P. Crocker Award for Merit, awarded by faculty at Claremont McKenna College.